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On September 29th and 30th, 2010, the Department of Legal Cooperation of the OAS, in conjunction with Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of the Attorney General, held a workshop which sought to evaluate and strengthen the efficacy of the Trinidad and Tobago Draft Plan of Action, a tool which monitors the implementation of the recommendations formulated by the Follow-Up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC). The workshop, which gathered more than 60 representatives from government agencies, ministries, and civil society organizations, was held at the Cascadia Hotel, in Port of Spain.

The workshop participants met to evaluate and strengthen the Draft Plan of Action, which was prepared by Professor Rose Marie Belle Antoine -- an eminent international legal consultant. Her comprehensive and substantive work reviewed Trinidad and Tobago’s degree of adherence to the MESICIC recommendations made during the First and Second Rounds of Review. These recommendations have a wide scope, covering a broad range of topics such as standards to prevent conflicts of interest, protection measures for whistleblowers, standards for government hiring and procurement, as well as measures to encourage access to public information. The Draft Plan of Action makes recommendations on how the Trinidad and Tobago can strengthen anti-corruption mechanisms with respect to these topics, among others, and outlines the processes, actors, timeframe, and costs necessary to implement a specific recommendation.

In his opening remarks, the Attorney-General for Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Anand Ramlogan, , reiterated the importance of international cooperation and dedicated joint efforts by the State Parties to the MESICIC, and emphasized that corruption was not just a local matter, but one that transcended borders. Mr. Ramlogan also stated that the workshop highlighted the role of civil society as well in combating corruption. The participants of the workshop reviewed the Draft Plan of Action and suggested ways in which the implementation of the MESICIC recommendations in Trinidad and Tobago could be facilitated. The participant’s sector-specific knowledge allowed them to insightfully evaluate the timeframe, indicators, key institutions, and proposed measures to strengthen the Draft Plan of Action. With firsthand knowledge of anti-corruption measures in Trinidad and Tobago, each representative had the chance to agree with, modify, or suggest an alternative to the methodology of implementing each measure. Their pertinent recommendations will be integrated into the final Plan of Action.

The workshop in Trinidad and Tobago was just one of a series that is being held in 2010. These workshops are all part of a general framework, established through the MESICIC, to fortify inter-American legal cooperation. Similar workshops have already been held this year in Belize, Guatemala, Suriname and the Dominican Republic. Upcoming MESICIC workshops will take place in Costa Rica, and Bolivia.

For more information on the OAS’ actions in promoting hemispheric cooperation against corruption, including the cooperative action plan program on the implementation of the MESICIC recommendations, please direct yourself to the Anti-Corruption Portal of the Americas.

Edition N° 39 - October 2010

What is the MESICIC?

The Mechanism For Follow-up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, known as MESICIC for its Spanish acronym, is a tool to support the development of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption through cooperation between States Parties.

Read more here

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Department of Legal Cooperation
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